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Atomic Tiki Man by Karen Kelsay | Word Riot

March 15, 2011      

Atomic Tiki Man by Karen Kelsay

He’s the one who looks
like he came from Trader Vic’s,
wearing a sideways rum punch smile.
A cool dude who wants
to smooch long haired beachy girls
sipping coconut milk
under palm fronds.
His shirt is splashed with ruby
flowers that echo a suburban
shangri-la chair cushion. His hair
is an hibachi of charcoal curls.
It would take two hands
to wrap around those arms—
all tan and bendy
like a piece of rattan
(not the cheap wicker stuff).
His breath is scented
with passion fruit and pineapple.
At night he dines on crab rangoon
and sips Tiki Punch—then dreams
about taking a little wahine
with a purple orchid in her hair
on a tiki tour.

Karen Kelsay

About the author:

Karen Kelsay is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the editor of Victorian Violet Press, an online poetry magazine. Her poems have been published in Triggerfish Critical Review, Tinfoildresses, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, and many more. Her new book, Dove on a Church Bench, will be published in April, by Punkin House Press.

    1 comment to Atomic Tiki Man by Karen Kelsay

    • I love this poem! It has such great vivid imagery, such great spirit. Love the “sideways rum punch smile” and “suburban shangri-la chair cushion” and “hibachi of charcoal curls.” Trader Vic’s is almost a cliche of icons, and this poem rides above that to be so delightfully original. Really fun read, thank you.

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